"[C]ritics Casey Deeha, Chipp Oatlay, Sal Savirdy and 'El Presidente Mole' promise to provide 'not merely a description of burritos, but a more writerly experience that gives the attention to burritos that they deserve.' Yep. You heard it here, folks. - Jay Barmann, SF Grubfest

"[Casey Deeha] also thinks it could be a matter of cultural heritage and sense of place why a Mission-style burrito is thought to taste the best in San Francisco." - Tamara Palmer, Zagat

"Bay Area Review of Burritos -a must read for anyone remotely interested in foil-wrapped tube food" - Kevin Montgomery, Up Town Almanac

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taqueria El Farolito, 24th St., Mission, San Francisco

Written By Casey Deeha

It's fitting that my venture down 24th st., passed Mission St. to El Farolito would come so soon after El Toro on Valencia... it is a paradigm shift. From independent and overly priced gift shops sprinkled with trendy hair cuts on Valencia to taquerias and lovely flowery dresses dorning the sidewalks amidst modesty. Throw in some garish colors, some newly leaved trees, the sun and an anti-rape march dancing down 24th and *poof* you have the cultural ingredients for a great Mission Style burrito experience.

It's like being a jelly bean in a jelly bean bowl (I'm actually not that fond of jelly beans, but they are a good and positive childhood metaphor everyone can relate to) - while El Farolito is one brightly colored jelly bean among many other brightly colored jelly beans in this area of the Mission, the collectivity doesn't take away from their individual contribution. In other words, putting my hand in the jelly bean bowl does mean that I'll necessarily be disappointed, but that I'll have a different jelly explosion experience to savor and remember in childhood dreams. Of course the metaphor is more apt than this - the colors - the individuality - yet the homogenous nature of each bean; I strive for this in my political aspirations, for which burritos have become representative: a working class food by nature that appeals to everyone. 

Running with my common thread and/or assertion that taquerias are the modern oasis amidst the urban-hip-desert (read my review of Zona Rosa, El Toro and El Buen Sabor), the jelly bean bowl of south east mission is a political-ideological haven of rebellion, humility and good food - and I gladly thrust my hand in hoping for a red cherry jelly bean. Walls garnered with mirrored advertisements for Corona and Budweiser juxtaposed with faded yellow with orange brick, my cultural taste was already bleeding into my mouth. I went with a chicken 'super' burrito and awaited my delight. I sat calmly taking in the sights and sounds. I waited and waited...

Sitting calmly

I - begain - to - drift - off - into- somewhat - of - a - trance. 
A Mexican trance that danced to the jelly bean beat of anti-rape march drums in the back drop of 24th st. I felt as if I was floating amongst the motes of sunlight piercing the window.
Smiles. Laughter. Families. 

Whoa... where am I? My burrito gone with only a shredded tin foil encasing on the tray in front of me. Bliss - understated and effortless. I peer down at my clenched fist, open my hand and find one red shinny jelly bean. Was this truly a dream?

Salsa Rating: red-hot-with-drug-trance-like-qualities

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